Are You A Runaway Bride?


Are you scared you're going to be Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride? Prevent wedding jitters!

Dear Bride,

I know you're scared. I know that everything inside of you is telling you to run, that you're with the wrong guy, that you don't love him enough or in the right way or as much as you loved some other guy. I know that everything in our culture is corroborating with your belief that these feelings of fear and anxiety are a clear sign that something is terribly wrong, that if you were with the right guy you wouldn't experience any doubt, that doubt means don't and that the only responsible action would be to leave. I know that you might be waking up in the middle of the night with your heart pounding and starting each day with your stomach in knots. I know you're miserable, which obviously isn't how you expected to feel just months before getting married. Everything inside of you is telling you to leave. You're having visions of running away on your wedding day, just like Julia Roberts. All of the signs are there. It's time to go.

And yet… and yet… you haven't left. You haven't left because underneath all of these horrible anxious feelings, you know that you love him. You know that you love him like you've never loved anyone, maybe not with the butterflies and fireworks, but with the kind of love that your grandmother would have approved of, a steady, solid love based on trust, respect, shared values, connection, support, companionship, and commitment. When anxiety isn't stealing the show, he's the person you like best in the world. He's the one who holds you when you cry and cheers you on when you're striving for your next goal.

But is this enough? Our culture says it's not. Our culture says that you're settling, that you don't have enough chemistry, that

I have news for you: our culture is lying to you. Our culture has been lying to you your entire life. Every movie, every magazine, every sit-com, every novel has propagated these lies. Why? Because our cultural message about romantic love is dysfunctional and predicated on a fantasy that there's one person out there that will make your feel alive, fulfilled, and complete, that when you meet this person you'll just know, and you'll feel ecstatically certain as you plan you wedding and ride off into the mythical sunset.  


Sheryl Paul, M.A., has counseled thousands of people worldwide through her private practice, her bestselling books, her Home Study Programs and her websites. She has appeared several times on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, as well as on “Good Morning America” and other top media shows and publications around the globe. To sign up for her free 78-page eBook, “Conscious Transitions: The 7 Most Common (and Traumatic) Life Changes“, visit her website at And if you’re suffering from relationship anxiety – whether dating, engaged, or married – give yourself the gift of the Conscious Weddings E-Course: From Anxiety to Serenity

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.